latemodelamerica.com - TN - Oct. 23 - 411 Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Ryan King - Bobby Giffin - 411 Motor Speedway 

Ryan King pressures #97 Bobby Giffin for the lead late in the O'Reilly Steelhead Late Model Championship at 411 Motor Speedway. Giffin finished first, but waved off a tech inspection and handed the win to 19-year-old King. (Michael Moats)

 

King takes Biggest Win of Young Career at 411 Steelhead Championships

 

Michael Moats

   

SEYMOUR, Tenn. - Oct. 23. The fourth annual O'Reilly Steelhead Championship at 411 Motor Speedway provided plenty of drama and excitement as 41 late models were on hand for the $2,500 winner's check. When the dust settled, 19-year-old Ryan King had picked up his biggest career win.

 

In qualifying action, Bobby Giffin of Maryville, Tennessee showed he was the man to beat by turning in a new track record with a lap of 13.90 seconds. That beat out David Crabtree, also of Maryville.

 

Greg Martin - Brad Lowe - 411 Motor Speedway

Greg Martin passes #1 Brad Lowe inside the top five early in the race, but at the end, Martin was out of the hunt and Lowe held down fourth place. (Michael Nuchols)

 

After the heat race and B-main action was completed, the 20-car field was set to take the green. Crabtree used the outside line to grab the early lead from Giffin. King, Rusty Ballenger, and Greg Martin were locked in a tight battle for third position. King separated himself from the group and began to pressure Giffin for second.

 

The race's first caution came on lap nine for Pierce McCarter's spin in turn four. When the field returned to green, Crabtree once again pulled away from Giffin. King pulled alongside Giffin for second, but Giffin used the high line to retain the position. Crabtree and Giffin began to pull away from the rest of the field. Giffin reeled in Crabtree and began to look underneath for the lead.

 

Josh Collins - Mark Vineyard

Josh Collins slips under Mark Vineyard for fourth place at 411. (Michael Moats)

 

A little deeper in the field, Mark Leach, Mark Vineyard, and Jason Cardwell exchanged some sheet metal as the trio looked to make their way to the front. On lap 21, Cardwell slowed to bring out the second caution.

 

 

Bobby Giffin set fast time with a new track record, then went on to lead the main event, only to forfeit the winner's take in the face of a post-race inspection. (Michael Nuchols) 
On the restart, Crabtree and Giffin battled for the lead coming off turn two. Crabtree held the top spot until he slowed four laps later coming off turn four. Crabtree began to pull inside and made contact with Giffin, who was looking underneath for the top spot.

 

With half the race in the books, Giffin was the new leader. On the restart, Giffin surged ahead of King by four car lengths. But King quickly closed back in on the rear bumper of Giffin. King pressured Giffin for the lead, but Giffin held his line and kept the lead.

 

After a series of cautions, it was Giffin, King, Ballenger, Brad Lowe, and Mark Vineyard in the top five. Vineyard would soon drop out and moved reigning track champion Josh Collins into the top five with eight laps remaining when the race's final caution waved.

 

Giffin and King resumed their battle for the lead when the race returned to green. King remained under Giffin and looked to finally be in position to make a pass. But King made slight contact with Giffin in turn four and nearly lost control. But King gathered in back in and held on to second position. From there, Giffin comfortably crossed the finish line for an apparent win. Collins got by Lowe and Ballenger on the last two laps to finish in third. 

 

 Ruben Mayfield - King - 411 Motor Speedway

Reuben Mayfield spins and collects another car during heat race action for the Steelhead Championships. (Michael Nuchols)

 

Following the race, King protested Giffin. After a few minutes to think about it, Giffin decided not to have his engine torn down. That handed the win to King. Collins was credited for second, followed by Ballenger, Lowe, and Clyde Stanton.

 

NOTES: Scott Sexton was first car out for quailfing but almost turned the car over entering turn one for the first time, then landed on top of the wall. The local veteran walked away under his own power, but may have suffered two broken right side ribs.  James Kelso was incolced in a hard, firey wreck in heat one after making conatact with Scott Gardner, but walked away okay.

 

 

James Kelso - 411 Speedway

James Kelso was unhurt, but his car was destroyed in the first heat race after getting together with Scott Gardner. (Michael Moats)

 

Scott Sexton qualifing - 411 Speedway

Scott Sexton takes a wild ride onto the wall during his qualifying lap at 411 Motor Speedway. (Michael Nuchols)

 

Scott Sexton - 411 Speedway

Sexton is helped from his race car after his qualifying lap went awry. The East Tennessee veteran was thought to have suffered broken ribs. (Michael Moats) 

 

O'Reilly Steelhead Championship Results:

 

1.(3) #30-Ryan King
2.(7) #16-Josh Collins

3.(4) #29-Rusty Ballenger

4.(6) #1-Brad Lowe
5.(14) #74-Clyde Stanton
6.(18) #12-Barrett Terry
7.(20) #7-Heath Alvey
8.(19) #51-Mack McCarter
9.(17) #32-Greg Huskey
10.(12) #4-Mark Vineyard
11.(10) #71-Pierce McCarter
12.(5) #24-Greg Martin
13.(16) #129-Jason Welshan
14.(15) #21-Eric Tipton
15.(11) #2X-Anthony White
16.(2) #C5-David Crabtree
17.(9) #07-Jason Cardwell
18.(8) #66-Mark Leach
19.(13) #90J-Jason Trammel

DQ'd-#97-Bobby Giffin refused teardown
 

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